Posted August 2, 2010on:
The yearly celebrations of breastfeeding are upon us. We are in the middle of Breastfeeding Awareness Month and World Breastfeeding Week. The Surgeon General has even put out a statement. I’ve known that I wanted to breastfeed since I knew what breastfeeding was. I know that not every woman wants or can nurse. I am by no means a BF nazi. My one and only wish is that every woman who wants to try gets all the support she needs from before her child is born to when she decides to wean.
I’d be lying if I said that learning to BF was easy and this support is so crucial. I was afraid, embarrassed, and not at all confident after birth. After the euphoria of childbirth wore off I wondered why I couldn’t get him to latch on correctly. It was frustrating and I was too ashamed of not being able to do what I thought others did so naturally. In the hospital I had no milk or colostrum to speak of.
I delayed going to the breastfeeding intro at the hospital and I hid and lied to the lactation consultants about how well things were going. I just kept letting the nurses give him formula and when I saw how much he drank (he guzzled down the little 2oz bottles) I feared that I would never be able to fill his belly.
When we were home five days after the C-section, my milk finally came in and I pumped for him. We still had latching problems and I gave up. It wasn’t until he was 3 or 4 months that I tried again. I had found bottles that were supposed to mimic breastfeeding and after a few weeks of using those I tried to latch him on. And it worked! I was so relieved that we could finally do that.
My next problem to fight was my low supply. Initially, I produced way more than he needed but I had some health problems and my supply decreased because of it. I still supplement at least half of his nutrition with formula. I have my ups and downs about that but I try to remember that he is at least getting SOME breastmilk everyday. We’re 4 1/2 months away from when I plan to wean him at a year old and I’m just going to enjoy the time. Who knows, with the next child I may not have as many problems and won’t supplement at all.